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What could you do with ten extra dollars? These small changes will give you extra cash without a lot of extra effort. Here are four money-saving tricks:
Identify Energy Hogs. It may surprise you to learn where your energy is being sent! Save 10% on your energy bill by targeting your energy hogs and unplugging them if you aren't using them. While it will save energy to unplug your DVR, it’s not necessarily worth missing the season finale of True Blood. Instead, focus on unplugging things like your notebook computer or fax machine when they're not in use, which consume large amounts of unnecessary energy as a whole. Tip: To make unplugging appliances easier, consider using a switchable power strip to easily unplug a cluster of cords all at once. To find energy hogs in your home, read: Identify Home Energy Hogs.
Make DIY Cleaners. How many household cleaners do you have under your sink? Chances are you have at least three: One for countertops, one for mirrors and maybe one for your floor. Instead of buying these costly and potentially dangerous cleaners month in and month out, make your own cleaners instead! With a few common, non-toxic kitchen products like baking soda and vinegar, you can clean your entire house! For step-by-step instructions and full recipes for DIY household cleaners, read: Make Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products.
Photo : West Elm
Lower H2O Temperature. You can reduce your water heating costs by simply lowering the thermostat temperature on your water heater. For each 10 degree F reduction in water temperature, you can save 5% in energy costs! It turns out most water heaters are unnecessarily set to 140 degrees F by installers, while most households only require a water setting of 120 degrees F. Bonus: Reducing your water temperature also slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes, which helps your water heater last longer and operate at its maximum efficiency. To learn more about your water heater, read: Inspect and Maintain Your Water Heater.
Brew, Don't Buy. Coffee is important, but let’s face it — it’s also expensive. While we won't ask you to give up our morning cup of Joe, instead of buying it at the corner coffee shop, make it yourself! The average American spends over $1,000 annually for their daily jolt. By brewing your coffee at home and having a reusable coffee mug on the go, you can save up to $100 per month, depending on how often you were hitting Starbucks. If you can’t imagine a day without your sweet coffee treat fix, try making a mocha iced coffee at home! To get the most out of your home brew, read: Clean Your Coffee Maker.